I have requested that My Edmonds News post my May 16, 2023 email to the Edmonds City Council below. Since the May 15 meeting, the concerns of the gentlemen who expressed concern about being taxed out of his home has weighed heavy on me. My concern is that residents who have lived in Edmonds for generations, helped build this beautiful city and community, have paid their taxes in support of our schools, roads, parks, police and fire departments are now on their way to becoming homeless themselves. All in the name of helping city and county projects such as the hotel purchased to house the homeless on Highway 99. I am overwhelmed with concern for our elderly, tax-paying homeowners. Pushing victimhood, the homeless, has created financial opportunity for others at the expense of the very fabric, the backbone, of Edmonds. Empathy for some is becoming the path to cruelty for another group of people — again, these arethe fabric and foundation of Edmonds. Is this elder abuse?
Good Morning Council President and Members,
I want to thank CM Diane Buckshnis, Vivian Olson, and David Teitzel for taking time out of their already busy schedules to host the meeting last night engaging us/their constituents on pressing topics such as HWY 99 issues.
I brought up the issue of the hotel the county purchased to house the homeless and folks with drug addiction. I would like to remind you that back when the County Council was considering the purchase of the hotel, I personally researched other programs throughout the U.S. to see what kind of success rates they had. Two in particular come to mind, one in California and another in Arizona. These programs took in the homeless drug addicted and provided housing, food, the essentials of daily living and treatment. They also, provided education, marketable job skills so that these folks could go out into society and provide for themselves as fully functioning members of society. I don’t know whether County Council took the time to look at the research I had done or contacted these two facilities. I do know that the County choose not to — at least at that time to include treatment into their plan. I understand through your input last night they are still working out particulars.
I would like to point out that Edmonds College has a program where drug addicted folks whom have completed or are in the process of completing a treatment program are paired with a person (called their Angel) to mentor them and help them navigate the education process at the college so they are ready to enter the job market and become contributing members of society. This program is in existence right now.
Compassion is not synonymous with enabling. I most certainly want to offer a hand up to the drug addicted. However, as a hard working tax payer I do not want to see taxpayer dollars thrown down a rabbit hole so some elected officials can tout “hey look at me” what they’ve done to address this issue – when in fact, they have done nothing to solve the problem, but simply perpetuate.
Yes, the hotel was not purchased with Edmonds budget dollars. But let me point out the obvious, ARPA funds are/were taxpayer dollars, Edmonds citizens’ taxpayer dollars The gentleman at last night’s meeting whom is concerned that he is being taxed out of his home is a prime example of how our citizens are being taxed and their dollars are being wasted on programs that don’t solve a problem but simply perpetuate or create more government paying jobs – to what end, more government bureaucracy. In the meantime, hard-working citizens whom have lived in Edmonds for many years, paid their taxes are being taxed out of their homes, they soon may be homeless as well. Some one has to care about these folks too.
As far as crime in Edmonds, I’m frustrated because what I see is criminals being allowed, enabled to continue this lifestyle. Our justice system is not holding them to account for their crimes. In reality simply giving them free license to continue stealing, harming folks, murdering with little or no consequence. Where is the compassion for our law-abiding citizens? I’m in favor of more police officers in Edmonds. But are they simply going to catch the criminal and then set them free with no accountability? If this is the case, perhaps these dollars should go elsewhere.
Thank you to those of you on City Council who keep a sharp eye on our tax dollars and all things Edmonds. You are appreciated.
Theresa Campa Hutchison